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Aquaglyceroporin-null trypanosomes display glycerol transport defects and respiratory-inhibitor sensitivity

Jeacock, Laura and Baker, Nicola and Wiedemar, Natalie and Mäser, Pascal and Horn, David. (2017) Aquaglyceroporin-null trypanosomes display glycerol transport defects and respiratory-inhibitor sensitivity. PLoS pathogens, 13 (3). e1006307.

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Abstract

Aquaglyceroporins (AQPs) transport water and glycerol and play important roles in drug-uptake in pathogenic trypanosomatids. For example, AQP2 in the human-infectious African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, is responsible for melarsoprol and pentamidine-uptake, and melarsoprol treatment-failure has been found to be due to AQP2-defects in these parasites. To further probe the roles of these transporters, we assembled a T. b. brucei strain lacking all three AQP-genes. Triple-null aqp1-2-3 T. b. brucei displayed only a very moderate growth defect in vitro, established infections in mice and recovered effectively from hypotonic-shock. The aqp1-2-3 trypanosomes did, however, display glycerol uptake and efflux defects. They failed to accumulate glycerol or to utilise glycerol as a carbon-source and displayed increased sensitivity to salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), octyl gallate or propyl gallate; these inhibitors of trypanosome alternative oxidase (TAO) can increase intracellular glycerol to toxic levels. Notably, disruption of AQP2 alone generated cells with glycerol transport defects. Consistent with these findings, AQP2-defective, melarsoprol-resistant clinical isolates were sensitive to the TAO inhibitors, SHAM, propyl gallate and ascofuranone, relative to melarsoprol-sensitive reference strains. We conclude that African trypanosome AQPs are dispensable for viability and osmoregulation but they make important contributions to drug-uptake, glycerol-transport and respiratory-inhibitor sensitivity. We also discuss how the AQP-dependent inverse sensitivity to melarsoprol and respiratory inhibitors described here might be exploited.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology > Parasite Chemotherapy (Mäser)
UniBasel Contributors:Mäser, Pascal
Item Type:Article, refereed
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1553-7366
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:29 May 2017 12:42
Deposited On:29 May 2017 12:42

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